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The Martyrdom of Saint Menas
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1580
Veronese, Paolo (Paolo Cagliari)
The Martyrdom of Saint Menas
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1580
Veronese, Paolo (Paolo Cagliari)

Saint Mena extends his arms and raises his gaze to Heaven, refusing to worship the graven idol presented to him at the left of the composition. As a result, he was martyred and decapitated. His suffering occurred in the year 296, under the rule of Diocletian. It is indicated here by the sword held by the person who has seized the saint, and by the pliers in the basket, which were used to pull out

The Battle of Clavijo
Oil on canvas. 1755 - 1756
Giaquinto, Corrado
The Battle of Clavijo
Oil on canvas. 1755 - 1756
Giaquinto, Corrado

Mounted on a white steed and flanked by an angel bearing a flag, Saint James gallops over a multitude of fallen Moors and horses. The battle scene occupies a rocky landscape in the middle ground. This canvas is a sketch for the elliptical dome at the entrance to the Royal Palace’s chapel and was painted by Giaquinto between 1756 and 1757. The canvas and its corresponding fresco are clearly derived

The Spanish Monarchy
Grisaille, Oil on canvas. 1794
Bayeu, Francisco
The Spanish Monarchy
Grisaille, Oil on canvas. 1794
Bayeu, Francisco

A sketch for a ceiling at Madrid´s Royal Palace, painted in 1794. Bayeu used grisaille technique: a monochrome depiction in shades of gray and chestnut brown. The Spanish Monarchy is represented by an imposing matron wearing a helmet and surrounded by allegorical figures that constitute a group of considerable iconographic interest for which Bayeu had to conscientiously study the treatises then cu

Pilate washing his Hands
Oil on copperplate. After 1655
Giordano, Luca
Pilate washing his Hands
Oil on copperplate. After 1655
Giordano, Luca

Esta pintura ha sido relacionada con Durero (1471-1528) y con Lucas de Leiden (1494-1533). Supone un sobresaliente ejercicio de estilo que manifiesta su atenta observación de originales alemanes del siglo XV, cuya técnica Giordano intentó imitar. En ella Giordano aplicó una pincelada minuciosa y precisa de trazos cortos que reproducen con rigurosa exactitud el aspecto de los objetos, la incidencia

Le Corps de Garde
Oil on copperplate. 1650 - 1670
Teniers, Abraham
Le Corps de Garde
Oil on copperplate. 1650 - 1670
Teniers, Abraham

Scattered around the room we see a large drum and pieces of several sets of armour –one of them still on its stand– and pistols and harquebusses hanging on the wall, on which a flag is also draped. In the background, several men, perhaps soldiers in civilian clothes, are smoking and drinking. Abraham Teniers repeats, with few variants, some of the famous compositions of his brother, the famous Dav

The Resurrection of Christ
Tempera on pine panel. Second third of the XVI century
Correa de Vivar, Juan
The Resurrection of Christ
Tempera on pine panel. Second third of the XVI century
Correa de Vivar, Juan

Christ returned to life, triumphant alongside the sarcophagus that held his body for three days after his death on Golgotha, was a frequent subject in Correa´s work. The retable for the convent of the Poor Clares in Griñon (Madrid), dated around 1532-1534, shaped its essential compositional structure, with Christ at the center over a stone staircase bearing the sarcophagus and flanked by so

The Martyrdom of Saint Agnes
Oil on panel. 1540 - 1545
Macip, Vicente
The Martyrdom of Saint Agnes
Oil on panel. 1540 - 1545
Macip, Vicente

Masip depicts this fourth-century Roman saint´s second martyrdom, when, after having been condemned to be burned at the stake, the flames miraculously failed to touch her body and she was finally condemned to die by beheading. The logs, still burning and smoking, appear at the martyr´s feet. The lamb she holds in her arms symbolizes her virginity at the moment of her death, which was r

The Fall of Lucifer
Oil on canvas. 1840
Esquivel, Antonio María
The Fall of Lucifer
Oil on canvas. 1840
Esquivel, Antonio María

Lucifer was one of God´s favorite angels. He was expulsed from Heaven when he rebelled against His power. To represent the subject, Esquivel chose the moment when, with a stern expression, Saint Michael separates him from Celestial Glory. The subject is comparable to Saint Michael´s fight with the dragon of sin, which was frequently depicted by innumerable artists. Nevertheless, Esquivel eschews t

Philip II
Oil on canvas. 1551
Titian (Tiziano Vecellio)
Philip II
Oil on canvas. 1551
Titian (Tiziano Vecellio)

Philip II was Titian’s most important patron, and the pair’s artistic relationship was one of the most fecund of the Renaissance. They met twice while Philip was still a prince, in Milan (December 1548-January 1549) and Augsburg (November 1550-1551), and Titian painted the prince’s portrait on both occasions. On 29 January 1549 Philip paid the painter 1000 escudos for certain portraits he paints a

Mars
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1638
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
Mars
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1638
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y

The first documentation of Diego Velazquez´s Mars is from 1701-03, when it appeared in the inventory of paintings at the Torre de la Parada, the royal hunting pavilion on the outskirts of Madrid. The painting is cited along with Velázquez´s Aesop c.1638 (P01206) and Menippus 1639-40 (P01207). The three paintings have similar dimensions, and each are as tall as the Heraclitus, Democritus and

Jesus in the House of Annas
Oil on canvas. 1803
Madrazo y Agudo, José de
Jesus in the House of Annas
Oil on canvas. 1803
Madrazo y Agudo, José de

This religious scene with its life-size figures, is treated in the sober manner usually applied to scenes from Roman history. It was the first major painting produced by Madrazo whilst training in Paris under Jacques-Louis David, and earned him an increase in his grant from Charles IV, enabling him to continue his studies in Rome.

Jesus carrying the Cross
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1516
Piombo, Sebastiano del
Jesus carrying the Cross
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1516
Piombo, Sebastiano del

Jerónimo Vich y Valterra (1459-1535) was Spain’s ambassador to Rome between 1506 and 1521, under the reigns of Ferdinand the Catholic and Charles V. Vich commissioned Sebastiano del Piombo to paint a triptych whose central panel with the Lamentation over the Body of Christ is now at the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg. One of its sides bears Christ’s Descent into Limbo and is also at t

Don Quixote Dubbed a Knight
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1720
Iriarte, Valero
Don Quixote Dubbed a Knight
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1720
Iriarte, Valero

The scene, with a distinctly genre flavour, depicts a passage from Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616). The main figure, wearing armour, kneels awaiting to be dubbed a knight; the amusing folk setting around him is far removed from the ceremonial splendour implied by such an event.

Conquista de México por Hernán Cortés (9 y 10)
Oil, Shell work on canvas mounted on panel, panel. 1698
González, Juan; González, Miguel
Conquista de México por Hernán Cortés (9 y 10)
Oil, Shell work on canvas mounted on panel, panel. 1698
González, Juan; González, Miguel

This panel inlaid with mother-of-pearl executed in New Spain is part of a group of twenty-four pieces that narrate the capture of Mexico.

Olympus or The Triumph of Venus
Oil on canvas. 1761 - 1764
Tiepolo, Giovanni Battista
Olympus or The Triumph of Venus
Oil on canvas. 1761 - 1764
Tiepolo, Giovanni Battista

This is a sketch for a no-longer extant painting on canvas intended to decorate a ceiling in a building of the imperial court of Russia, whose memory is preserved in an engraving made by Giambattista´s youngest son Lorenzo. The engraving forms a set with another three, two of which were also made by Lorenzo, on the basis of original works by his father, as part of the same commission. The en

Athaulf
Oil on canvas. 1858
Madrazo y Garreta, Raimundo de
Athaulf
Oil on canvas. 1858
Madrazo y Garreta, Raimundo de

The Chronological Series of the Kings of Spain was a museum project planned in 1847 by José de Madrazo to adorn four of the new rooms at the Real Museo de Pinturas (Royal Museum of Paintings), then under his direction. At the height of the confrontation between the supporters of Isabella II and the Carlists, who denied the sovereign’s right to occupy the throne because she was a woman, the

The Recapture of Saint Christopher
Oil on canvas. 1634 - 1635
Castello, Félix
The Recapture of Saint Christopher
Oil on canvas. 1634 - 1635
Castello, Félix

The island of Saint Christopher (modern-day Saint Kitts) in the Lesser Antilles was invaded by the English and French and recaptured by Spanish forces in 1629. The Spanish expedition was led by Fadrique de Toledo y Osorio, I Marquis of Villanueva de Valdueza and Captain General of the Ocean Fleet. He was accompanied by Fleet General Martín de Vallecilla and Admiral Antonio de Oquendo. After

Saint Bruno Appears to Rogerio Guiscardo, Count of Apulia and Calabria
Oil on canvas. 1626 - 1632
Carducho, Vicente
Saint Bruno Appears to Rogerio Guiscardo, Count of Apulia and Calabria
Oil on canvas. 1626 - 1632
Carducho, Vicente

On August 29, 1626, King Philip IV’s painter, Vicente Carducho (ca. 1576-1638), signed a contract for the creation of a cycle of paintings to celebrate the founding of the Carthusian Order by Saint Bruno and its leading members. This colossal undertaking sought to visually narrate numerous episodes from the Carthusians’ history and tradition. It was the most complete commission ever dedicated to t

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